Farrah Fawcett, an American actress, passed away on June 25 in Los Angeles at the age of 62. With her passing, we lose one of the most iconic symbols of post-feminist Hollywood, a definitive pinup who somehow parlayed a delicate-flower demeanor and all-American beauty into a 30-year career. She fought anal cancer for a long time, and her death comes after a protracted battle with the disease.
Fawcett’s longtime companion Ryan O’Neal said via a statement-
“After a long and brave battle with cancer, our beloved Farrah has passed away”
”Although this is an extremely difficult time for her family and friends, we takecomfort in the beautiful times that we shared with Farrah over the years and theknowledge that her life brought joy to so many people around the world.”
Her final part, in the gripping NBC documentary Farrah’s Story, was also her most courageous. Perhaps most movingly, the video showed her incredible love affair with O’Neal to the film’s 9 million viewers. O’Neal has been by her side throughout her treatment and recently told Barbara Walters on 20/20 that he had proposed to her after nearly 25 years of dating. Fawcett passed away tragically prior to the wedding.
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The sorority girl from UT who made her TV debut on Charlie’s Angels in 1976 became an overnight sensation. (Her iconic poster, shot before she was on Angels, was released to the public the same year, further solidifying her status as a se*ual icon.) After just one season, Fawcett decided to leave the program and go on to greater success with the off-Broadway play Extremities and the NBC movie The Burning Bed in the mid-1980s. (Her performance as an abused wife garnered her first Emmy nomination.)
After her marriage to Six Million Dollar Man star Lee Majors ended in divorce in 1985, Fawcett began dating Shaquille O’Neal. They went on to have a son, Redmond James O’Neal. Her subsequent decade of on-screen work, including The Apostle (1997) and Dr. T and the Women (2000), was met with widespread critical acclaim from both audiences and critics alike.
She did her fair share of embarrassing things in public, like getting her naked body painted for a Playboy spread in 1995 and making a notably confused appearance on David Letterman’s Late Show the following year. In 2005, she even tried to tell her own tale on the TV Land reality series Chasing Farrah, which was cancelled after a single season due to poor ratings and reviews.
Fawcett was diagnosed with a rare kind of anal cancer in 2006. The actress had successfully defeated cancer with chemotherapy and radiation. Tragically, in 2007, doctors discovered the disease had returned. Fawcett kept a positive attitude even as she resumed treatment and her family’s drug issues were front page news. A close friend and co-producer of Farrah’s Story, Alana Stewart, told EW.com in April, She’s always been optimistic. Her attitude has remained positive throughout this ordeal.
Donations in memory of Farrah Fawcett can be sent to The Farrah Fawcett Foundation at P.O. Box 6478, BeverlyHills, CA 90212 in lieu of flowers. Author: Jennifer Armstrong Jeff Jensen, Dan Snierson, and Tim Stack contributed further reporting.
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